As a first-time buyer you may not know what you should be asking or may well be embarrassed to ask as you think they’re silly questions.
We have listed some things buyers might want to ask.
Why are the current owners looking to sell the house?
This information will help when it comes to putting in an offer. It’s good to find out if they are very motivated sellers who may need to move quickly, or if they’ve just put their home on the market to see what kind of interest it gets. If they’re looking for a quick sale there could be the opportunity to offer a lower price, especially if you’re in a good position with no chain and a mortgage in principle already sorted.
Length of time property has been on the market?
How long a property takes to sell depends on a few factors. The type of property, the price and also the demand. Don’t be put off if a property you are interested in has been listed for a few months. Currently, the average time it takes to sell is around 60 days from when the property is listed. However, if a property has not sold after six months, the current owners may be open to you making an offer on the asking price.
Have any major building works taken place recently?
It’s advisable to have a full structural survey on a property you want to purchase, there are also questions you can ask too. When you’re viewing the property, ask if it has been extended or if any other major building work has been done – if so, ask when it was completed. If not, ask if there is scope and potential for further improvements, i.e. loft conversions (a lot of buyers don’t know about permitted development and planning not always needed for certain extensions) if in doubt, be sure to check if planning permission is required.
Is the property in a chain?
The seller might be open to a lower offer if they have found their next property. If they are still looking for a property, you could become part of a chain – think about how quickly you want to move to a new home.
The lease length and living costs.
Find out what type of lease is on the property – is it a leasehold property? If so, what is the length, and does it need upgrading? You need to live in the property for 2 years before you can apply to extend the lease.
Ask if there is ground rent or a service charge to pay, find out the terms and how much they are if these charges do apply. See if the agent knows what the council tax is for the area. Check the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), you will know how energy efficient the house is. The EPC will list the current rating from A-G and what the rating could be with energy efficiency improvement.
What is the local area like?
Knowing what the location of the property is like is important. Do your homework. Drive to the property at different times of the day and speak to neighbours. If you don’t know the area and will be using public transport, find out how good the transport links are.
What are the neighbours like?
Neighbours who are very noisy could be a put off for some people. However, others might not see this as a big problem. An area with friendly people and good community spirit might make up for any issues the property has.
Is there parking?
If the property doesn’t have a driveway or garage for parking, you will need to make alternative plans. If you are registered disabled and need a parking space – speak to your local council about the process of getting this put in place.
We hope our tips will help any first-time buyer looking at property! If you are looking for your dream home, you can view our current listing here.